British Comedy Guide

March 9: BBC open submissions: Comedy scripts  Page 2

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beaky

  • Friday 20th March 2015, 5:32pm
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,703 posts
Quote: Lawrence Diamond @ 20th March 2015, 2:20 PM GMT

> Are you getting this info from transcripts or actual working drafts?

Transcripts. The actual word count of 24 minutes of American TV sitcom dialogue is about 3,000 words.

My last two radio scripts = 3,019 and 3,037 words.

I'm not even particularly trying to get them a certain length. I guess I've just watched a lot of American TV sitcoms and this length is now second nature to me.

From what I've listened to, radio sitcoms don't seem to have a C story, so it's basically a case of writing in a way that allows you to massively stretch scenes out with monologueing or have "character building" scenes that aren't strictly necessary or... I don't know.

6,000 words seems a very unnatural length to me. I've written a two-parter with the A story carrying through but with a bit of a clunk as the B-story just suddenly switches over.

I would be genuinely interested to hear from people who have written 30-minute radio scripts on how you go about outlining that in a way that isn't a bit shit.

Do you count every single one of the words? Sounds exhausting.

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Lawrence Diamond

  • Saturday 21st March 2015, 2:21am
  • England
  • 53 posts

I have something called a word "processor". It boasts a number of advanced features including typographic alignment, text colour and word count.

> I also think simpler plots are better in radio, because people are generally listening to it while doing something else - driving, cooking, emailing Feedback.

Right. You can't expect the whole family to be sat around the radio like when Marc was a child. Radio sitcoms are more about discussion points than plot points.

I think I've been writing TV scripts without the visual elements.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Monday 23rd March 2015, 1:32pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Famously Hitchhikers was very visual.

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Mikey Jackson

  • Monday 23rd March 2015, 9:39pm
  • Worthing, West Sussex, England
  • 2,807 posts
Quote: Lawrence Diamond @ 21st March 2015, 2:21 AM GMT

I think I've been writing TV scripts without the visual elements.

The thing is, TV is a visual medium. Therefore, visual elements are essential.

And, regarding wordcount, my half hour scripts are around 5500 - 6000 words.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 29th March 2015, 11:18am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,094 posts

The closing date for this is insane - lunchtime on Thursday before a 4 day bank holiday, 4 vital days a godsend usually to amateur writers. You do have to wonder if the Beeb actually want anything from unknowns and amateurs. I honestly don't think they do, after another insult like this.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Monday 30th March 2015, 12:55pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Some of us stopped wondering.

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alphaomega

  • Wednesday 1st April 2015, 6:54am
  • United Kingdom
  • 7 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 29th March 2015, 11:18 AM BST

The closing date for this is insane - lunchtime on Thursday before a 4 day bank holiday, 4 vital days a godsend usually to amateur writers. You do have to wonder if the Beeb actually want anything from unknowns and amateurs. I honestly don't think they do, after another insult like this.

This deadline has been coming for at least a year since they announced the comedy submission was happening early 2015. I had been working towards this date for a over a year. Submitted 3 weeks ago, now working on the The Drama Script Room that will be open in the autumn. Good luck to everyone that has submitted.

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Bonzo

  • Wednesday 1st April 2015, 7:41am
  • London, England
  • 823 posts

We are submitting ours today. Good luck everyone! :)

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Lawrence Diamond

  • Wednesday 1st April 2015, 10:15am
  • England
  • 53 posts

Yes, good luck to everyone who took a shot at it. Those who didn't, the good news is you have about 365 days left to try and get something together.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone who gets feedback.

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Bonzo

  • Wednesday 1st April 2015, 12:20pm
  • London, England
  • 823 posts

Ours is in! So... with that done and Newsjack finished, it's on to Kirrin Island!

:)

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Otterfox

  • Thursday 2nd April 2015, 10:39am
  • Tipperary, Ireland
  • 1,028 posts

Got mine in at about 1:30am. Had an issue with final draft saving as PDF but got there eventually.

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alphaomega

  • Thursday 18th June 2015, 9:19am
  • United Kingdom
  • 7 posts

BBC writers room tweeted a few days ago that they hope to let everyone know the results by the end of the month (June).

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Paul Wimsett

  • Saturday 13th February 2016, 11:06pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Is it a good bet that the 2016 entry dates will also be in March?